Our Story

The Funding Experts

Civitas is a full-service firm that specializes in developing and advocating for unique tourism and travel promotion funding strategies. We provide non-profit and legal consulting services, legislative support, and help with unique funding solutions for destinations. Working with over 200 destinations worldwide, we are the leading international firm specializing in the research and implementation of tourism-related levies.

Civitas’ work includes:

  • Assisting in funding analysis and formation of sustainable mechanisms as the leading national expert in TIDs, bed tax, and tax increment
  • State legislative efforts – drafting strategy and testifying
  • DMO organizational and funding comp set comparisons
  • Nonprofit and compliance – bylaws and board education

We have created and implemented innovative funding mechanisms, including business improvement districts (BIDs) and tourism improvement districts (TIDs), and adjustments to bed taxes that have generated nearly $2 billion for our clients globally. Our expert team delivers unequaled knowledge, depth, and experience globally to destinations and communities that seek sustainable funding solutions to fuel their futures.  Civitas’ clients are innovative local, state and national governments as well as community organizations and groups of business or property owners.

Our team has served several times as an expert witness in challenges against districts, including South Lake Tahoe, CA, Tulsa, OK, and most recently, the successful defense of a PBID in Stockton, CA, in 2022. John Lambeth, our President and CEO, is also the primary drafter of 2022 legislation to help make PBIDs more defensible, AB 2890 (Bloom).

In 2022, we worked with fourteen Pacific Island nations to analyze existing and possible future tourism and community funding mechanisms. We also provided advice this year to stakeholders in Auckland, NZ, to help them determine the best options for sustainable funding to help their tourism sector flourish.

We are the nation’s leading firm in Tourism Improvement Districts (TIDs). Our team has helped form over 200 TIDs throughout the United States and helped several states investigate the possibility of establishing statewide funding. Notable TIDs formed include San Diego and Los Angeles; and the first districts in Louisville (Kentucky), Oregon (Portland), Kansas (Wichita), Florida (Tampa), Oklahoma (Tulsa), Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), Mobile (Alabama), Boston (Massachusetts), Albuquerque (New Mexico), and Tennessee (Memphis).

TIDs have become an increasingly popular – and essential – method of providing stable funding for destination marketing and promotion, tied directly to the lodging industry. Civitas is the expert in all aspects of TID creation: adopting enabling legislation, building support among tourism businesses and electeds, and guiding the formation process.

As thought leaders in the industry, we were honored to speak at the 2021 ECM Autumn Meeting, were asked to present on-site in Japan in 2018, have assisted the Destinations International Canadian Alliance, and were honored to speak in Léon, Mexico, at their Annual DMO Meeting in 2022.  We are regular speakers at meetings hosted by IDA, Destinations International, Sports ETA, and the U.S. Travel Association.

In 2018, Civitas completed a study commissioned by U.S. Travel regarding travel and tourism laws related to taxation and other levies. In 2019, in conjunction with U.S. Travel, we created the most comprehensive report to date on lodging and F&B levies. In 2020, we worked with several organizations to publish the Funding Futures Report. This report included detailed research into all U.S. and Canadian tourism funding mechanisms and highlighted the opportunities for new or enhanced funding of tourism & DMOs, post-COVID-19.


We empower businesses, properties and destinations with the resources to strengthen economic prosperity and communities worldwide.


We envision a world in which every community is vibrant, healthy and prosperous. We believe in the transformational impact of travel for all.

Our Mission

We empower businesses, properties and destinations with the resources to strengthen economic prosperity for communities worldwide.

Our Vision

We envision a world in which every community is vibrant, sustainable and prosperous. We believe in the transformational impact of travel for all. 

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Becoming the Funding Experts

We began in 1993 with a vision of a better Downtown Sacramento. That vision became California’s first property-based business improvement district in 1995. Over the next few years, that concept spread to downtowns throughout California, and a company called Downtown Resources was born.

As time passed, the vision of a better downtown expanded. Commercial corridors, neighborhood shopping districts, industrial areas and tourist destinations all adopted the model. The name Downtown Resources was eventually outgrown, and thus Civitas emerged.

Number of Clients
States Worked With
Countries Worked With
Generated for Clients Globally
$ 0 Billion

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